Chairman Takano Speaks with Student Veterans of America President Jared Lyon, Pledges Support for Student Veterans During Pandemic
Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)
Miguel R. Salazar
RIVERSIDE, CA – This week, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) spoke with Student Veterans of America’s President Jared Lyon to discuss how student veterans are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With schools rightly taking proactive measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, many veterans are left uncertain about their GI Bill benefits, housing, and work study programs. Chairman Takano's legislation, the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, passed the Senate this week and will ensure that student veterans’ benefits are safeguarded throughout this crisis. See their full conversation here.
Watch the full conversation here.
“As we respond to the coronavirus pandemic, we cannot forget about our student veterans,” said Chairman Takano. “My bipartisan legislation ensures no students have their housing cut off, lose their work-study payment, exhaust their disaster housing stipend continuation payments, or lose their benefits due to a school closure from COVID-19. We fought hard to make the restoration of benefits a permanent feature of the law, so that under future emergencies, whether it’s a pandemic, or a hurricane, or a flood or a school closes for whatever reason, veterans won’t be left high and dry. While the Senate may have excluded that permanent safeguard, I want to see this fixed in the future. SVA has always been a ready and willing partner alongside the Committee, and I’m grateful to have had them join us virtually.”
“First and foremost, thanks for your continued leadership, also that of your good friend Dr. Roe. The ability for you all to not only work together but to lead in such a bipartisan way to ensure that the needs of veterans and their families who are in college are not only taken care of, but are understood, so that we can take care of them in a rapid and responsive manner that is actually supportive of them,” said SVA President Jared Lyon. “When work study comes under jeopardy of being lost, not only does it have massive economic impacts, but the overall well-being of the student who was dependent on VA work study is really challenged by the notion of added anxiety, of ‘how am I going to make ends meet,’ during an already challenging situation that our country’s facing-- so it is a hugely important thing that VA work study be paid on time. This is something that is already impacting students veterans, and as we delay the response to having a legislative fix for it, it will continue to. It’s causing a lot of confusion and anxiety amongst student veterans and school certifying officials alike, who are trying to even process these benefits. The latitude we’re hoping VA has is positive, but the actual legislative fix is required and it’s required now.”
For more resources on how student veterans can access their benefits and take care of their mental health throughout the pandemic, visit the Committee’s COVID-19 resource page.
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